The 2,300 day prophecy in Daniel 8:14 is one of the more difficult prophecies in Daniel to understand. It reads, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” (NKJV). From this verse many questions arise: When does this prophecy begin and end? What sanctuary is represented here? What is the significance of the cleansing of the sanctuary? The purpose of this paper is to present the most commonly held views of this prophecy and show the most favorable explanation.
Vision of chapter 8
Let us start with the broader context of this prophecy. In Daniel chapter 8:1-14, Daniel sees a vision of 2 animals: a ram and a goat. These beasts are a contrast to the amalgamated beasts he saw in chapter 7. The ram comes up first having two horns, with one horn higher than the other. He pushed towards the west, north, and south and no animal could withstand him. Suddenly, a goat arises from the west, moving so quickly that his foot does not touch the ground. Between his eyes there was a prominent horn. The goat runs furiously towards the ram, attacked him, and broke his two horns. The ram could not resist him but was trampled under by the goat. Then the goat grew stronger and stronger, but at the peak of his strength, his horn breaks and out of it four horns emerge toward the winds of heaven. Later, a small horn comes up and grows to be very great. This is no ordinary horn. It grew toward the host of heaven and cast down some of the host. He also opposed the sacrifices and cast truth to the ground. Daniel next hears one of the holy ones speaking, saying “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?” The answer is given, “For unto two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
There are a number...